With the summer temperatures rising, you may already be concerned with high utility costs in the near future. A system malfunction could add stress if you have a tight budget. However, you may be able to resolve a problem on your own without the need for professional service. Understanding simple DIY diagnostics is important because you can eliminate some issues quickly, reserving those service calls for more serious concerns. Use these AC troubleshooting tips to ensure that you aren’t dealing with an issue that can be easily corrected.
System Won’t Operate? Check Electricity and Controls
A lack of power can prevent your system from operating. Because many thermostats use batteries, you may still see information displayed at the system control but fail to achieve a response to adjustments. Check your fuse box as well as indoor and outdoor disconnect switches to ensure that there isn’t a disruption in the power supply.
You may also need to check the strength of the batteries in your thermostat to ensure that the problem isn’t due to miscommunications from this location. A bad thermostat can also result in incorrect system operation. Before you assume that these thermostat issues are a problem, take time to check your settings. It’s easy to make an incorrect selection that affects your temperature or system function settings. Your AC won’t turn on if your temperature setting is greater than the current room temperature.
Poor Airflow? Look for Blockages and Restrictions
One of the most common AC problem is weak air pressure, an issue that can result from a blockage in your ducts, your vents or in the air handler. A dirty filter is one of the most common sources of restriction, easily rectified with a quick filter change. It is important to note that a dirty filter can add between 5 and 15 percent to the amount of cooling energy needed to moderate indoor temperatures, making regular checks a valuable measure for avoiding system problems.
Dirty coils also pose the potential for poor air movement in your home. When you change the filter, you may notice a collection of grime and other debris on the surface of the coils. A layer of just .01 inches of material amassed on your coils can add 5 percent to your cooling bills. Ignored over time, your coils can result in a serious decrease in system performance. Unlike your air filter, you will need professional assistance to address this issue. However, an HVAC tune-up is typically very affordable and makes a dramatic difference in the performance of your air conditioner.
Incorrect Temperatures? Check System Settings
If you notice hot air from an operating air conditioning system, you need to verify that your system is set for cooling rather than heating. This is an easy issue to fix. If the system isn’t operating when you notice hot air, you may have a leak in your ductwork, an issue that requires professional diagnostics and repair. You may have a refrigerant problem if the system is operating and producing hot air while correct settings are in place. In this case, you will want to contact the experts at Merrell & Associates, Inc. for repair services.